Investing in Nursing Education

Is There a Business Case for Health Care Employers?

Business and policy leaders have long recognized the benefits of education progression for individuals and for society. Yet in health care, the debate over policies that promote nurse educational progression is still raging. Driving the lack of consensus are the difficulties faced by many registered nurses (RNs) in completing a bachelor of nursing (BSN) degree while working, and inconsistent research results about the impact of higher nurse education on patient outcomes.

In this paper, the authors review the evidence and the experiential knowledge to date, and propose a preliminary framework for understanding the financial trade-offs that health care employers may want to consider as they determine the costs and benefits of investing in nursing education.